Indiana’s quest for a ninth national title continues at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara on Friday night as the Hoosiers take on Maryland in the national semifinal.
This will be the third meeting between the two teams this season. In the first matchup a late Andrew Gutman goal, his second of the match, pushed Indiana to the victory. The second game was even more intense. In the semifinal of the Big Ten Tournament they went to penalty kicks before a heroic effort from goalkeeper Trey Muse helped the Hoosiers take the win.
Who’s the Hero?
This Indiana team is so versatile and deep that any number of players could be the star tonight. Gutman and Muse stepped up against the Terps once each already, could they do it again? Austin Panchot has been on fire during this tournament run and scored the game winner against Notre Dame, maybe he’ll find the back of the net again? Maryland will have their hands full because any of the players on the field for IU could make a difference.
Maryland is Hot
Maryland hasn’t had an easy path to Santa Barbara. In their three NCAA Tournament matches, they’ve taken down NC State and Duke by 2-0 scores and in their most recent match they took a 1-0 win over a Kentucky team that had their way with Indiana in Lexington. They’ve proven that they belong here and given how tough they’ve played Indiana this season it’s no fluke.
Eyes on Amar
Amar Sejdic is a key for the Terrapins. The senior midfielder has found the back of the net seven times for Maryland, including a pair of goals so far in this tournament. He also tallied his first assist of the season against Kentucky. With at least one point in each of the last three matches Sejdic could be peaking at the right time for Maryland and he could be a headache for the Hoosiers.
Indiana and Maryland will kick off one hour after the conclusion of the Akron-Michigan State game on ESPNU.